The Nigerian Muslim Jihadists, comprising state actor and non state actor radical Islamists had in the past nine months of 2021 or January to September, a period of 270 days, hacked to death no fewer than 4,400 defenseless and unprotected Christians. At least, twenty Christian clergies have also been killed or abducted. In the raging and untamed anti Christian genocidal killings and property violence, the number of sacred places of worship and learning belonging to the globally revered and respected religious Faith severely attacked by the jihadists since January 2021 has risen to between 350 and 400. Not less than 3500 traveler and sedentary Christians have also been abducted in the nine months of 2021 gone by; with several dozens of them feared killed in captivity. In all, average of 490 Christians were killed in each of the past nine months and 16 in each of the past 270 days.
Locating The Perpetrators: By our several detailed investigations, the genocidal violent attacks against Christians in Nigeria have been elevated to a state policy-with the key perpetrators drawn from state actors (jihad enablers and perpetrators in the Government of Nigeria and its security forces) and non state actors (state protected armed jihadists). The non state actor Jihadists are further divided into ‘international’ and ‘local’ wings. The local wing is comprised of Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and Jihadist Fulani Bandits. The Fulani Herdsmen were infiltrated, armed with sophisticated with weapons and radicalized in early 2000s by the country’s leading radical Muslims to perpetrate religo-sectarian mayhem in Plateau State (2001, 2004, 2007 and 2008) and Southern Kaduna and Benue State (from 2010 and upwards).
In 2011, the group began to be transformed into instruments for jihad and polico-religious violence. By early 2016, the religious terror group fully transformed into Jihadist killer group and was massively deployed and used to unleash religious violence, hiding under the cover of cattle grazing and rural grazing routes and networks; through which they moved and occupied native farmlands and properties of the country’s indigenous Christians. The Fulani Bandits; originally called “Zamfara Bandits”, on their part, were raised in 2011 in Maradun, Zamfara State to counter the growing radical influence of the indigenous Hausa “Yankasai Vigilante”. The Jihadist group was initially infiltrated and hijacked by financiers of Zamafara illegal mining fields and later by leading Northern radical Muslim leaders including political office holders and senior security personnel.
The international wing of Nigerian Jihadist groups is comprised of Boko Haram and ISWAP and a litany of other internationally affiliated Jihadist group including Ansaru or Movement for the Emancipation of Black Muslims in West Africa. While Fulani Herdsmen and Fulani Bandits are made up of local and Nigerian Government allowed alien Fulanis and acutely illiterate armed Hausa urchins, the Boko Haram, ISWAP, Ansaru and others are made up of Kanuris, Bagara/Shuwa Arabs and Maghreb Muslim Jihadists and handful of armed, indoctrinated and radicalized Fulanis and Hausa urchins. The jihadist groups above named, joined by “Esprit de Jihad” in the Nigerian security forces and corridors of power are responsible for the anti Christian butcheries and faith property violence in the country.
2,540 Christians Slaughtered By Herdsmen, Others Killed 1,963: In the past nine months of 2021, Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen were responsible for death of not less than 2,540 Christians, having between 1st January and 18th August 2021 killed 2,259 of them. The Fulani Bandits on their part, accounted for not less 600 Christian deaths and have targeted and killed Christians majorly in Niger, Kebbi, Taraba and Adamawa States as well as in Southern Kaduna where they killed jointly with Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen. It must be noted too that the Jihadist Fulani Bandits accounted for most of the indigenous Hausa Muslim deaths in the Muslim dominated areas of Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Northern Kaduna and Zamfara States. ISWAP and other foreign affiliated Jihadists also accounted for more than 680 Christian deaths while Northern Muslim dominated and controlled security forces such as Nigerian Army and Nigeria Police Force accounted for the remaining 680 civilian Christian deaths.
Kaduna, Benue, Borno, Plateau, Niger, Taraba Top The List: Southern Kaduna topped the list of the anti Christian butcheries perpetrated by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen/Fulani Bandits in the past nine months with 608 deaths, followed by Benue State with 550 deaths, Plateau State 400 deaths, Christian parts of Niger State 300 deaths, Taraba State 270 deaths, Igbo States of Ebonyi/Enugu/Anambra/Abia 240 deaths, Ogun/Ondo/Oyo/Ekiti/Osun 180 deaths, Kebbi 120 deaths, Nasarawa 60 deaths, Kogi/Kwara 30 deaths, Igbo part of Delta 35 deaths, Edo State 40 deaths, non Igbo part of Delta 25 deaths, Gombe/Bauchi 40 deaths, Christian part of Geidam in Yobe State 25 deaths, Kogi/Kawara State 30 deaths and Katsina ten deaths including a Reverend Father. On the other hand, Borno State topped the list of Boko Haram/ISWAP/Ansaru perpetrated Christian deaths with 450 deaths, followed by Adamawa, Taraba and Yobe State with over 240 others. The Jihadists within the country’s security forces’ rank and file and command and control were also found to have accounted for no fewer than 680 civilian Christian deaths, killed on the grounds of their faith and ethnic or nativity identities. Added to the above was 100 “dark figures”, totaling 3,723 Christian deaths recorded in the hands of non state actor Muslim Jihadists in nine months. The 680 unarmed civilian Christian deaths in the hands of the Nigerian security forces included Benue State (70 deaths), Akwa Ibom State (40 deaths) and at least 570 Igbo Christian deaths in Imo (over 210 deaths), Abia (90 deaths), Nigeria Police Force CIB Headquarters, Abuja (90 deaths) and Rivers, Ebonyi, Anambra, Enugu and Cross River (180 others); all totaling not less than 4,403 civilian Christian deaths.